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Free Content Focus groups for allied health professionals and professions allied to technical services in the NHS – marketing opportunities, lessons learnt and recommendations

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Background:  Worcestershire Health Libraries provides services to all NHS and social care staff in Worcestershire. Despite intensive marketing, statistics showed low usage of the library service for professions allied to technical services and allied health professionals.

Objectives:  To discover why there was low usage of the library services using qualitative techniques and to use focus groups as a marketing opportunity. This article also aims to outline the processes involved in delivering focus groups, the results gained, and the actions taken in response to the results.

Methods:  Focus groups were conducted in two departments, Pathology and Occupational Therapy. The Biochemistry department (part of Pathology) had two focus groups. An additional focus group was conducted for all the Pathology education leads. Occupational Therapy had two meetings, one for hospital based staff, and the other for community staff.

Results:  Issues centred on registration, inductions, time, library ambience, multi‐disciplinary service and resources. The findings raised marketing opportunities and the process identified potential candidates for the role of team knowledge officer, to act as library champions within departments. It also identified areas in which the library service was not meeting user needs and expectations, and helped focus service development.

Conclusions:  Focus groups allowed an opportunity to speak to non‐users face to face and to discover, and where appropriate challenge both their, and library staff’s pre‐conceived ideas about the service. The information revealed gave an opportunity to market services based on user needs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Community Outreach, Redditch Health Library, Alexandra Education Centre, Alexandra Hospital, Woodrow Drive, Redditch, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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